Altius makes power play

Deal offers 'exciting opportunity' says Kevin Nestrick
Friday, August 22, 2014

PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Health care is a tough market, but provider Kevin Nestrick says selling his company, Altius Healthcare, will enable it to grow amid all the change.

“There’s a constant evolution of the infusion market that requires additional capital and investment,” said Nestrick, founder and CEO of Altius. “This is an exciting opportunity for Altius.”

Altius was acquired by Amerita, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PharMerica, in a deal announced July 1. Terms were not disclosed. Amerita, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PharMerica, now has 15 locations, but mainly in Texas.

The deal makes a lot of sense for both companies, say analysts.

“(For the buyer) these bolt-on acquisitions are usually to fill in some geographic coverage,” said Reg Blackburn, managing director of specialty infusion and infusion services for The Braff Group, which advised Altius on the deal. “For Altius, they can be part of something that has larger buying power and managed care contracting power.”

Altius started in 1990 as part of the OptionCare franchise, but it dropped the name in 2007 after Walgreens acquired OptionCare. Altius provides infusion therapy to about 600 patients throughout Arizona and southern Nevada, focusing on underserved rural areas.

For his part, Nestrick says he’s confident that he’s found a good fit for his company.

“Amerita is a company that pretty much matched our philosophy,” he said. “Health care is a local business and all the technology is not going to replace that human interaction.”

Nestrick is staying on with the company but has moved into a business development role. Altius will retain its name for the time being. The provider planned to open a third location, in Phoenix, in August.